Home >Politics >Policy >Rahul Gandhi attacks Narendra Modi on Rafale, alleges deal changed to benefit a ‘businessman’
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was speaking to reporters after the meeting of the newly formed All India Unorganised Workers Congress. Photo: PTI
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was speaking to reporters after the meeting of the newly formed All India Unorganised Workers Congress. Photo: PTI

Rahul Gandhi attacks Narendra Modi on Rafale, alleges deal changed to benefit a ‘businessman’

Rahul Gandhi raised questions over the Rafale aircraft deal and accused the govt of compromising national interest and security while promoting 'crony capitalism' and causing a loss to the public exchequer

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter aircraft agreement and asked the media why it didn’t question him for allegedly changing the “entire deal" to benefit a businessman.

He also asked why no questions were posed to the prime minister on BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay, whose company the Congress alleged has witnessed a quantum jump in turnover since the Modi government came to power.

“You ask me so many questions and I answer all of them. I want to ask you, why don’t you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal. Why don’t you ask about Amit Shah’s son? Why don’t you question the prime minister who changed the entire Rafale deal to help a businessman?" he asked.

He was speaking to reporters after the meeting of the newly formed All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC). Gandhi expressed satisfaction over the formation of the AIUWC and said he felt good interacting with them.

The Congress vice president told unorganised workers to work at the grassroots and ground level to bring change. Merely sitting and holding meetings would not help anymore, he added.

Earlier this week, the Congress raised questions over the Rafale aircraft deal and accused the government of compromising national interest and security while promoting “crony capitalism" and causing a loss to the public exchequer.

Congress’ communications department head Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft, refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.

The BJP dismissed the allegation, claiming it was intended to “divert attention" as party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal.

In a statement, Reliance Defence Ltd dubbed the Congress’ allegations as “baseless and unfounded". It said its subsidiary formed a joint venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace, after a bilateral agreement between two private companies and “the Indian government has no role to play in this".

The company said government policy of 24 June 2016 allows for 49% FDI in the defence sector under the automatic route without any prior approval.

Surjewala had also alleged that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process under the previous UPA government.

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